Samsung Electro-mechanics licenses Peratech’s QTC sensor technology

peratechlogoNorth Yorks, England — Peratech Ltd. has signed a major licensing agreement for its Quantum Tunnelling Composite (QTC) technology, which will be included in a new portfolio of pressure sensing components from Samsung Electro-mechanics (EM).

The license is for the use of Peratech’s QTC switches in 5-way input devices, or Navikeys, made by Samsung Electro-mechanics that are used for menu navigation and interaction on mobile phones.

These devices are typically made using dome switches that allow current to flow when depressed giving a simple on/off operation, says Peratech. By replacing the dome switches with switches made from force sensitive QTC, the resulting input device is now pressure sensitive so that as more pressure is applied to the switch, more current flows, opening up new ways to interact with the phone, says the company.

“The pressure sensitivity of the QTC switches changes the game when it comes to human machine interface design enabling truly 3D user interfaces to be created in small, low power devices,” says Dr. Ho-Chul Joung, principal manager at Samsung EM, in a statement. “This three-dimensionality cannot be matched with existing resistive and capacitive technologies and means that the next generation of mobile phones will have many new and exciting features because of it.”

Peratech says QTC force sensitive switches can be made into any shape or size. QTC also delivers low power, has no moving parts and requires no air gap between the contacts.